Milwaukee, Wis. – More consumers than ever before are using Better Business Bureau’s website, bbb.org, to submit reviews about Wisconsin businesses, as BBB received and verified 8,876 reviews in 2019, a 21% increase from 2019.
BBB customer reviews allow consumers to post positive, negative, or neutral reviews on a company’s BBB profile. Once submitted, the writer is verified by the BBB to be an actual customer of the business. BBB customer reviews differ from BBB complaints, in which the customer is seeking the BBB’s assistance in resolving a problem.
Consumers turned to the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) nearly 3.6 million times last year, a slight increase in activity from 2018.
In addition, Wisconsin consumers viewed online free BBB Business Profiles on businesses and charities more than 1.5 million times in 2019.
A total 10,272 complaints were processed, a 15% increase. Of those, 84% were responded to by the company.
“Since BBB Serving Wisconsin began in 1939, we’ve had a huge impact on businesses and consumers in Wisconsin,” says Jim Temmer, CEO/president of the BBB Serving Wisconsin. “For 80 years we’ve helped consumers find reputable businesses, protected them from scams, helped resolve complaints and helped businesses become more trustworthy. We could not have done this without the support of our thousands of accredited businesses.”
In 2019, Wisconsinites submitted more than 4,215 reports on BBB Scam Tracker, a 14% increase – BBB’s portal for consumers to self-report scams – affirming that bbb.org remains a popular, trusted option for consumers to check out companies and report scams. Scam Tracker also allows the BBB to collect, track, and share the information with media, law enforcement and the public.
In addition, we served more than 24,720 consumers via telephone and live chat function on its website, a 30% increase from 2018.
BBB Serving Wisconsin received and fulfilled a record number of speaking engagements and presentations to groups. In 2019, BBB staff members gave 53 presentations to more than 3,725 attendees. Popular speech topics include common scams and how to protect yourself, scams that target seniors, scams that target businesses, and general “What is the BBB” presentations. To request a speaker, click here.
The BBB offers free “Request a Quote” opportunities for consumers through its website. Choosing to “Request a Quote” allows a person to obtain free quotes, estimates, information or proposals from BBB Accredited Businesses. In 2019, the Wisconsin BBB forwarded 3,142 requests for quotes to 14,005 accredited businesses.
ShredFest, BBB’s bi-annual free community shredding event, was held in April and October for the 12th consecutive year. More than 46 tons of personal documents were shredded for free, helping thousands of people protect themselves from identity theft.
In 2019, more than 5,560 of Wisconsin accredited businesses chose to reaffirm their commitment to the BBB’s Standards of Trust.
The BBB Serving Wisconsin increased its social media presence with more than 7,035 followers on Twitter and 26,158 “likes” on Facebook.
In 2019, BBB awarded six Torch Awards for Ethics to the following businesses/organizations: JF Lopez Roofing, Michael F. Simon Builders, SITE Staffing, Kelmann Restoration, Willy Street Co-op, and Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. BBB awarded three Spark Awards for Entrepreneurship to Andrew Noegel (Renters Warehouse Milwaukee), Molly Sullivan (Miss Molly’s Café and Pastry Shop) and Zach Szymik (Szymik Affordable Auto). For information on the 2020 Torch And Spark Awards and to apply or nominate a company, click here.
The BBB Serving Wisconsin awarded 10 scholarships to Wisconsin High School seniors who demonstrated character, leadership, and ethical values. Each of the ten students received a $2,500 scholarship to attend an accredited college of their choice. The 2019 “Student of Integrity” scholarship was sponsored by the BBB of Wisconsin Foundation and made possible thanks to the support of our corporate sponsors; Badger Basement Systems, Catholic Financial Life, Dave Jones, Inc., UW-Whitewater, Concordia University, SVA, Johnson Controls, Johnson Financial Group, We Energies, Anick & Associates, Baird, Bartolotta Restaurants, Associated Bank, Harley-Davidson, Inc., NAAAP, Town Bank, Kelmann Restoration, ADAMM, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, JF Lopez Roofing, and SITE Staffing.
BBB Serving Wisconsin conducted 128 investigations (a 36% increase) and sent 75 press releases to the public including informational pieces, business alerts and scam notifications. This resulted in more than 4,480 TV, radio, and newspaper stories (a 64% increase). The BBB Serving Wisconsin also continued posting regular blogs for various online and print publications including Patch.com, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, the Ozaukee News Graphic, Sun Prairie Colonial Club Courier, and the Home Savings Bank e-Newsletter as well as print publications. BBB Serving Wisconsin also partnered regularly with radio stations including WIZM, WTMJ, WCUB, WOMT and Midwest Communications. BBB press releases are sent out regularly and can be found on the home page of our website under “news.”
BBB Serving Wisconsin challenged 216 ads for questionable claims (a 74% increase). The BBB requested immediate cease and desist from unauthorized users of its logo, requested substantiation of certain advertising claims and, in some cases, asked companies to modify their advertising to eliminate false or misleading information.
For an online version click here.For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2018, people turned to BBB more than 173 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.4 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.